Jaime Penedo has been a Major League Soccer player for less than a month, but he could take home one of the league’s high-profile annual awards.
The L.A. Galaxy goalkeeper made a stunning save on Saturday night, which could very well win MLS’ Save of the Year Award for the 2013 season. It also preserved a victory for his surging team.
Penedo spectacularly preserved his team’s victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in the 82nd minute. Vancouver’s Kekuta Manneh shot from distance, causing Penedo to dive to his left. Manneh’s effort hit the post but fell invitingly to Jordan Harvey.
The Whitecaps defender appeared to have an open goal at his mercy when he tried to tap the rebound in from around eight yards out. But L.A.’s Panamanian goalkeeper had other leapt to his feet, dove to the right and batted Harvey’s shot away.
“In a game like this, you’re expecting to need one big play from a defender or a goalie, or someone’s going to need to make a play, because they were putting us under some pressure at the end.
“Fortunately, the first one hit the post. I was standing right behind it. I’ve played a lot of soccer games in my life, and when I see a play like that, I can’t remember a time where a goal didn’t occur after [that kind of rebound].
“It seemed like he just came out of nowhere, kind of like Superman, and extended his arm and made an unbelievable save.”
After a strong Gold Cup with Panama’s national team, Penedo joined the Galaxy on Aug. 5 from Guatemala’s CSD Municipal. The 31-year-old might have supplanted Carlo Cudicini (a 13-year veteran of England’s Premier League) as the Galaxy’s starting goalkeeper after appearing in his new team’s last three games. If Penedo is indeed the Galaxy’s new custodian, he’s not acting like it.
“I’m not saying I’m the No. 1,” Penedo said after the game. “There are four goalkeepers that are working hard, and I have to work hard and learn. That’s what I have to do.”
Nice work, Clark Kent.
See Pinedo’s “Superman” save in the video below.
Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O’Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer or @mkomard, his Facebook page or NESN Soccer’s Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.